Colombian sprinter and purple points jersey holder Fernando Gaviria, added Thursday’s stage victory to his Stage 3 and 5 wins to give him the hat trick. Tom Dumoulin kept safe in the pink jersey.


The riders faced the longest stage of the 100th edition, heading northwest from Forli. There were Cat. 2 and Cat. 3 climbs in the first half of 229-km. The final 55-km were dead flat.


Simon Geschke, part of Tom Dumoulin’s Sunweb squad, faced a challenge very early in the day when the team bus left for the start without him.


A profile like Thursday’s wasn’t going to draw too big of a breakaway, and only three bothered to fly their team flags. Sergey Firsanov (Russia/Gazprom) took the maximum KOM points on the Cat. 2 and Mirco Maestri (Italy/Bardiani) did the same on the Cat. 3, but the real battle was behind them in the peloton where Wednesday’s winner Omar Fraile beat out Stage 4 winner Jan Polanc for the Cat. 2’s remaining points to take over the blue mountains jersey.


The race rolled along the Autostrade highway as the trio pulled out a little larger gap. But with 50-km to go, the lead was 3:20, plenty of time to make the capture. With the peloton closing in, Maestri did a flyer in the final 14-km. Lotto Soudal, Bora-Hansgrohe, Quick-Step Floors and Orica-Scott had been sharing the work in the peloton, but Orica did the labour to lasso Maestri with 7-km remaining.


Bora snatched the reins. Lotto-Soudal moved up on the right. Quick Step pulled back a late attack from Albanian Eugert Zhupa and, with lead-out man Max Richeze having caught back up with the field, launched Gaviria to the win.

Friday’s Stage 13 is pan flat, with nary a ripple. Most of the sprinters will be packing up and going home afterwards.

2017 Giro d’Italia Stage 12

1) Fernando Gaviria (Colombia/Quick Step) 5:18:55
2) Jakob Marckzko (Italy/Willier-Trestina) s.t.
3) Sam Bennett (Ireland/Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.

2017 Giro d’Italia GC
1) Tom Dumoulin (The Netherlands/Sunweb) 52:41:08
2) Nairo Quintana (Colombia/Movistar) +2:23
3) Bauke Mollema (The Netherlands/Trek-Segafredo) +2:38


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